GOSHEN — Elkhart County plans to spend $1.35 million to merge two 911 centers and upgrade emergency communication equipment.
Monday morning will be the last chance to comment on the cost of consolidation and technology improvements. The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. at the Elkhart County Administration Building, 117 N. Second St. in Goshen.
The county’s plans are part of a state-mandated consolidation that will result in the Elkhart County 911 Center taking over emergency calls coming from Nappanee beginning next year. State law will limit counties to two emergency communication centers after 2014. There are three dispatch centers in Elkhart County — one each in Elkhart, Nappanee and Goshen. The Elkhart County 911 Center on C.R. 28 in Goshen dispatches for 34 police, fire and ambulance agencies throughout the area.
The Nappanee 911 Center will be converted into a backup station after Jan. 1.
The cost of merging the two dispatch centers and upgrading equipment, including computer software and the phone system, will be covered by the county’s landline surcharge fee.